American University
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Public goods, private incentives, and agricultural R&D: Productivity and poverty in developing country agriculture

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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:09 authored by David Jon Spielman

This study examines how market and institutional structures affect the flow and distribution of productivity-enhancing and poverty-reducing agricultural innovations to small-scale farmers, workers and other agrarian agents in developing countries. The study first tests the hypothesis that private sector incentives affect the diffusion of productivity-enhancing technological innovation with a fixed effects panel estimation of yield data for 14 crops cultivated in a large sample of developing countries over a 33 year period (1963--1996). Evidence suggests that the diffusion of productivity-enhancing technologies for major cereal and commercial crops is stimulated by agricultural market growth and stronger intellectual property rights (IPRs) regimes, while the flow of similar technologies for subsistence crops is hindered by stronger forms of legal and technological IPRs, and relatively unaffected by agricultural market growth. Next, the study tests the hypothesis that the institutional design of the international agricultural R&D system affects its productivity-enhancing and poverty-reducing impacts. Based on a comparative historical analysis of the Green Revolution during the 1970s and the emerging agbiotech era, evidence suggests that these impacts cannot be achieved without strategic, international leadership from the public sector in the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge and technology in agriculture.



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Thesis (Ph.D.)--American University, 2003.


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